DALLAS – The Dallas Police Department has released information about two websites where people can donate money to help the families of the officers who were killed at Thursday’s protests.
The ambush began with gunshots that killed five officers and sent screaming crowds scrambling for cover. It ended when a Dallas police bomb squad robot killed a gunman after negotiations failed.
Investigators identified the dead suspect as 25-year-old Micah Xavier Johnson of Mesquite, Texas, a military veteran who’d served in Afghanistan. Police said they searched his home Friday afternoon and found bomb-making materials, ballistic vests, rifles, ammunition and a personal journal of combat tactics. Investigators are analyzing information in the journal, a police statement said.
“Through our investigation of some of the suspects, it’s revealed to us that this was a well-planned, well-thought-out, evil tragedy by these suspects,” Brown said at a prayer vigil for the victims Friday afternoon. “We won’t rest until we bring everyone involved to justice.”
The deadly gunfire erupted in Dallas after videos showing two African-American men shot by police in Louisiana and Minnesota spurred protests and debate over police use of force across the country.
Five police officers were killed and seven others were wounded in the ambush. It was the deadliest single incident for U.S. law enforcement since September 11, 2001. Two civilians also were hurt in the shootings, the Dallas mayor’s office said.
Johnson killed by bomb
As officials condemned the attack Friday, details emerged about the suspect who died after a lengthy standoff with police in a parking garage.
The suspect told police negotiators that he was upset about recent police shootings, that he wanted to kill white people — especially white officers — and that he acted alone, the city’s police chief told reporters Friday.
“We saw no other option but to use our bomb robot and place a device on its extension for it to detonate where the suspect was,” Brown said. “Other options would have exposed our officers to grave danger. The suspect is deceased as a result of detonating the bomb.”
Johnson had no criminal record or known terror ties, a law enforcement official said.
He served in the U.S. Army Reserve from March 2009 to April 2015, training as a carpentry and masonry specialist, according to records released by the Pentagon. Johnson was deployed for about seven months in Afghanistan, from late 2013 to mid-2014.
Wayne Bynoe, a neighbor, said police cars were outside Johnson’s home Friday. Johnson lived with his mother and kept to himself, Bynoe said.
“We don’t feel much support most days. Let’s not make today most days,” Brown said. “Please, we need your support to be able to protect you from men like these, who carried out this tragic, tragic event.”
Friday, a relative identified Michael Krol of the Dallas police as one of the slain officers. Krol’s uncle, Jim Ehlke, told CNN affiliate WDIV that Krol’s lifelong dream was to be a police officer.
Dallas Police Officer Patrick Zamarripa, a father of two, was one of the slain officers, according to social media posts from family members and reports from local media outlets. Military records show he was a U.S. Navy veteran who was deployed to Bahrain as part of the Iraq War effort.
His brother shared a photo on Twitter with the caption: “Love you brother. Couldn’t be prouder. We’ll see you again. #PrayForDallas.”
Dallas Area Rapid Transit Agency officer Brent Thompson was also killed.
Thompson, 43, joined the transit agency in 2009, and was its first officer killed in the line of duty.
He was a highly respected officer, DART police Chief James Spiller told CNN. And just two weeks ago, he’d gotten married to a fellow officer on the force.
“He was in great spirits,” Spiller said.
“We’re hurting. Our profession is hurting. There are no words to describe the atrocity that happened in our city,” he said. “All I know is that this must stop — this divisiveness between our police and our citizens.”
U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch described the Dallas shootings as the latest in a series of tragedies that have left the country reeling.
“After the events of this week, Americans across the county are feeling a sense of helplessness, of uncertainty and of fear. Now, these feelings are understandable and they are justified,” she said, “but the answer must not be violence.”
Other shootings of police
Three other shootings endangered police around the same time.
In Bristol, Tennessee, a man opened fire on motorists early Thursday at a motel and along the Volunteer Parkway, killing a woman and wounding three people, including a police officer, the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation said.
The TBI said a preliminary investigation reveals the suspect, Lakeem Keon Scott, 37, may have targeted individuals and officers after being troubled by recent incidents involving African-Americans and law enforcement officers in other parts of the country. Witnesses said they heard someone yell, “Police suck! Black Lives Matter!” before bullets were fired, the TBI said.
Scott was wounded by police, arrested and questioned at a hospital, the TBI said.
In the St. Louis area, a Baldwin police officer was shot after he approached a man in a vehicle Friday, CNN affiliate KMOV reported. Police apprehended the suspect. The officer was listed in critical but stable condition, police said in a tweet.
In Valdosta, Georgia, a police officer was shot Friday morning by a man who placed a 911 call, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation said. The officer, who is now in stable condition, went to an apartment complex to check on a reported car break-in and was shot twice when he exited his patrol vehicle, the GBI said.
The officer returned fire and wounded the shooter, who was identified as the caller and arrested. The GBI said there was no connection to the Dallas shooting.
The shootings occurred as many Americans nationwide took to the streets to demand answers over the killings of two black men by police in two days. They wept, marched and chanted, “Black Lives Matter!”
In St. Paul, Minnesota, crowds gathered near the spot where an officer killed Philando Castile in a car Wednesday.
“We are targets,” LaRhonda Talley said in an impassioned speech in Minnesota. “We made it across the transatlantic. We made it to freedom and you’re still killing us. You’re still hanging us from trees. You’re still killing us. Our lives matter! My son’s life matters. He matters to me … just like everybody’s son matters to their mama.”
Hundreds of miles away, protesters marched outside a convenience store in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, where Alton Sterling was fatally shot Tuesday while police tackled him in a parking lot.
In Dallas, protest organizers Friday condemned the violence and said they never imagined someone would attack their peaceful demonstration.
Hood, one of the organizers, said he spent hours searching for his wife as chaos unfolded in the streets.
“Ultimately, I spent those three hours talking to people, asking the question, ‘Why? Why? Why is this happening?’ The only answer I know now, and the only answer I knew then, was turn to love, we’ve got to turn to love, we’ve got to stop shooting.”
A protest was also held Friday in London, England.